Liverpudlian keen to make his mark

Melbourne Knights will reignite its time-honoured rivalry with South Melbourne in the Victorian Premier League at John Cain Memorial Reserve in Thornbury on Sunday.
The clubs need no introduction as pillars of the former National Soccer League.
The Knights are two-time national champions with former Socceroos superstar Mark Viduka coming out of their ranks, while four-time national champions South Melbourne were Oceania representatives at the 2000 FIFA club world championships.
The sides have met 87 times, but no clash in recent times has been as important as the one in the upcoming round 18.
They both sit dangerously close to the relegation zone while at the same time chasing finals glory in what is turning out to be a close-fought VPL season.
We caught up with Knights attacking midfielder Kevin Townson before last Sunday’s clash with the Oakleigh Cannons, played after the Advocate’s deadline, to speak about the importance of starting their run to the finals with a win over South Melbourne.
“We’ve had a look at what points we need and we’ll need four wins minimum and maybe even two draws,” he said. “Anything is possible. We’ve picked up our form lately.”
Townson has been in Australia for little more than 16 months.
The Liverpudlian was playing for England’s under-19 teams alongside the likes of Darren Bent, Dean Ashton, Glen Johnson, Carlton Cole and Jermaine Pennant when the Knights were in the NSL.
The 27-year-old tackled a professional career with Rochdale and Macclesfield Town when the old NSL disbanded and the A-League was born.
He started in Australia with Dandenong City in the state leagues last season and the only derby on his mind was the Merseyside one featuring his beloved Liverpool and Everton.
Townson will sample the passion involved in a Knights-South derby on super Sunday. He’s aware of what a win would mean to the diehards who still show up to see the Knights rain, hail or shine and wants to play a big part in seeing the club prosper in the VPL.
You want the Knights to be a big force in the Premier League,” he says. “That’s the main thing at the moment.”
Townson is relishing his chance to slot alongside Knights captain Danny Tiatto in the midfield. The Englishman is at the peak of his football powers and is at ease with the direction his career has taken. “I’m enjoying it more now than I’ve ever done,” Townson says. “That’s to do with a change of scenery, and the club has been good. It’s also a great place to live.”
Townson has never wondered what might have been. Some of his youth international teammates are playing in Europe’s biggest leagues and have even been part of World Cup teams. He prefers to focus on what the future holds – including Sunday’s blockbuster.

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